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Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-04 > 1019429146


From: "Chris Phillips" <>
Subject: Re: Margery Pecche or Clifford, wife of Nicholas de Criol
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 23:45:46 +0100


Here are a few more thoughts on the problem of Margery, the wife of Nicholas
Criol and apparently coheir of Margery Clifford - whether or not this was
the same Nicholas (d.1303) who married Margery Pecche, and if so, which wife
was the mother of his son Nicholas. Nothing at all conclusive, but possible
some clues.

(1) The Victoria County History of Northamptonshire, under Irchester (vol.4,
p.21) has more on the Cliffords. The manor was settled, around 1275, by
Richard of Irchester on William de Clifford (rector of Irchester from 1268
and later bishop of Emly) and his brother Richard. In 1284 William held a
quarter of a knight's fee there, which he and his brother Richard
transferred to Thomas de Morton five years later, "possibly in trust for
Margery, wife of Sir Nicholas de Crioll", who was tenant in 1298 and 1316.
(I have seen the 1298 reference, and she is described simply as Margery de
Keryel, holding in Irchester and Farndish.)

The account then goes on to mention the surrender in 1313 by Richard, son
and heir of Sir John de Clifford, of his right to the three coheirs, which
we have already seen. The description of the coheirs is a little fuller than
the other accounts, though. It says Margery Criol was a widow (presumably
described as widow of Sir Nicholas de Crioll), and calls the others
Elizabeth, wife of Sir John Pabenham the elder and Margery Hereward,
daughter and heir of Margaret, late the wife of Sir Robert Hereward.

Elizabeth de Pabenham successfully sued Sir William Lovel and his wife
Margery [identified by VCH Bucks as probably Margery Hereward] for a moiety
of the manor of Irchester in 1342, and (apparently, though it's not entirely
clear from the account), the whole seems to have passed to the Pabenhams in
this way.

(2) Tony Ingham kindly sent me some details on the Criols from "The Knights
of Edward I", and also information that the manor of Benhall in Suffolk came
originally from the d'Aubervilles. From information supplied by MichaelAnne
Guido, this manor was settled by Nicholas's father on him and Margery Pecche
at their marriage, and "and his said son, with the assent of his father
dowered Margery of the said manor, so that if he, the said son, should die
without heir begotten of the said Margery, or die under age, the whole manor
should remain to her in dower for her life" [Cal. Patent Rolls 1266-1272,
p.623].

However, Nicholas de Criol in 1290 granted the manor of Benhall to Guy
Ferre. I take this as an indication that Margery Pecche may well have been
dead by this time - as Nicholas could not be sure of dying without heirs -
unless some arrangement had been made to compensate her for her dower rights
which could eb lost as a result of this grant.

If Margery were dead by 1290, then the wife Margery who survived Nicholas at
his death in 1303 would presumably be Margery the coheir of Margery
Clifford.

(3) The Pabenham inquisitions post mortem recite several fines between
Elizabeth Pabenham and Margery de Criol. In the final one, dated 2 Edward II
[1308 or 1309], Margery is described as a widow. Unfortunately I didn't have
time to copy these, but the first two fines are dated 1303 and 1304 in the
VCH Bucks account. I'll have to go back and check the dates, but it would
make sense if these transactions represented a tidying up of the 3 coheirs'
inheritance following the death of Margery Criol's husband in 1303.

(4) The evidence above generally seems consistent with Nicholas (d.1303)
having married both Margerys.

The fly in the ointment is a quitclaim by Margery de Kyriel to Geoffrey de
Braddene and Katherine his wife of the manor of Easton Neston,
Northamptonshire, dated 1301 [British Library Add. Ch. 21856]. Baker's
History of Northamptonshire [vol.2, p.139] mentions this, and says that
Geoffrey had earlier, in 1300, enfeoffed "lady Margaret widow of sir
Nicholas de Criol" [citing Madox, "Formulare Anglicanum", p.90].

If that description is correct, it must imply a different Sir Nicholas from
the one who died in 1303. What's particularly puzzling, though, and suggests
this may be an error, is that (a) the first witness of the 1301 charter is
Sir Simon Pecche (b) another, undated, charter apparently by the same woman
(she uses a similar seal) concerns land in Hinton [Cherry Hinton,
Cambridgeshire]; this ties in with another charter of Nicholas de Criolis of
a tenement in Hinton [British Library Harl. Ch. 49 A 5]. This is immediately
followed in the collection of Harleian charters by the one by which Nicholas
grants Benhall to Guy Ferre [49 A 6] - and that Nicholas is obviously the
husband of Margery Pecche.

Clearly some more research is needed to disentangle this problem.

Chris Phillips







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